Pack meetings are essential to bonding different dens and groups together. It ensures that all participants in the pack meeting will feel included. According to the Boy Scouts of America, a pack meeting is meant for "recognizing the achievements of the Cub Scouts, communicating information about upcoming events, and providing a program that enriches the Cub Scouting experience. It helps the Cubs realize their den is part of a larger organization." Planning a pack meeting can be stressful since several different ages need to be entertained. In this article, you will learn 30 games that are fun for all ages of Cub Scouts.
Cub Scout Rankings and Games
The second age-related tier is Wolf. Wolves are eight-years-old or have finished the first grade. Wolves are similar to Tigers and are easily entertained. Games for wolves might become more physical such as dodge-ball or tag. The pack leader can also introduce games requiring the cubs to think on their feet and use their imagination to win a game.
The third tier is the Bear. Bears are nine-years-old and have finished the second grade. They are the second most mature grouping within the cub scouts and can play games such as Capture the Flag and other more demanding games. Cub Scout leaders should also introduce more complicated games in this age grouping.
The fourth ranking is Webelos. Webelos are the most mature and are ten years old. They are seen as the kid leaders of the Cub Scouts, and many of the younger boys will look up to the Webelos at pack meetings. They should be in or finishing the 5th grade. Webelos are ready for any game and activity as long as there is parental supervision.
The final ranking for Cub Scouts is the Arrow of Light. The Arrow of Light prepares Webelos to advance to Boy Scouts, encouraging them to apply all of the principles they have learned as a Cub Scout to their Boy Scout journey and to their lives outside of the Boy Scouts. The Arrow of Light badge can also be worn on the Boy Scout uniform.
When planning a pack meeting, it's important to include games that all ages can participate in. Games that isolate one group should be played in a regular cub scout meeting. Cub Scout leaders should use their discretion to determine whether a game is suited to their group of cub scouts. This article is intended to provide ideas that a Cub Scout leader will use as a springboard.
Easy Games for Effortless Entertainment
Sometimes, the best entertainment is the simplest. In this section, you will find ten games that are effortless to set up. These games will use cheap materials and won't take long to set up.
- Spaghetti Race
To have a Spaghetti Race, all you need is paper plates and spaghetti. This game is similar to egg and spoon challenges, where the runner has to balance an egg on a spoon and try to make it to the finish line as quickly as possible. A Spaghetti Race is similar but is more difficult. First, pair an older boy with a younger boy to encourage the older Cub Scouts to act as mentors to the younger Scouts. Then, give each pair two plates and a single piece of spaghetti. The game's goal is to hold the single piece of spaghetti between the two plates, while a different person is holding each plate. The spaghetti needs to be held with either end of the spaghetti touching the other plate. It's likely that many teams will drop their spaghetti pieces or that the pieces will break. If either happens, the team will need to start over from the beginning. The first team to reach the finish line wins.
- Candy Tape Ball
Most activities won't go wrong as long as they involve candy. Candy is an easy way to get all of the Scouts involved and excited about the activity. One of the best games with candy is the Candy Tape Ball. All you will need is a lot of masking tape and a variety of candy. First, you will need to create the ball. Take a handful of candy and wrap it up in the tape. Then, add more candy on top and add another layer of tape. As you make the ball bigger, continue to add more candy. By the time you run out of tape, you should have a large ball full of candy. Once the ball is ready, you can start the game.
To play the game, sit everyone in a circle and start the candy ball with one person. Then, give the person a random amount of time (no longer than ten seconds) with the candy ball and instruct them to unwrap the tape. The boy gets to keep any candy that falls out while the boy is unwrapping the tape. After the random amount of time has passed, the scout has to immediately pass it onto the boy sitting next to him. That person will also get a random amount of time to unwrap the tape. The ball continues to be passed around the circle until the ball is entirely unwrapped.
- Paper Airplane Race
One of the fastest ways to get all troops engaged is to have a paper airplane contest. For this activity, all you will need is paper. Before handing out the paper, show the boys a few different paper airplane techniques to help the airplane fly faster and further through the air. After the demonstration, hand out a few paper sheets to all the boys and let them have fun folding the airplanes. Once everyone has finished folding their airplanes, line everyone up on one side of the room. Make sure that each paper airplane has the boy's name on it to avoid confusion. Then, tell them to throw the airplanes across the room. Keep track of the airplanes that fly the furthest and hold a few rounds to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to throw their airplanes. The boy's airplane that flew the farthest wins a prize at the end of the competition.
- Giant Marbles
Whether you're holding your meeting inside or outside, you can play giant marbles. Giant marbles is a variation of the classic game Marbles. To play marbles, each person has a set of marbles and try to get the most number of marbles inside the bounds, while also knocking other marbles out of bounds. This game can be adapted on a larger scale to make it easier to play for younger kids or to encourage more interest and engagement. To play giant marbles, all you will need is a rope that will show the lines of the boundaries and balls. The balls used for the game can be anything on hand; you can use bouncy balls, basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, and volleyballs, or a combination of everything you have on hand. Once you have everything set up, hand a ball to each team and give them a chance to throw the ball into the boundaries, knocking other balls out of the position with each throw.
- Splatter Paint
Boys of all ages enjoy expressing themselves through art. Whether it's coloring, painting, or drawing, art is fun and helps young children learn more about their talents and abilities. Art can be used as a visual lesson or as a well to encourage boys to interact with one another. One of the best activities to inspire artists in your group is to have a splatter paint party. Splatter painting takes little preparation and can be done inside or outside. If you are planning the activity inside, you will need tarps or newspaper to cover the area around each work of art. To do splatter painting, each boy will need a space to work and a piece of paper, as well as access to a variety of paint colors. When you have everything set up, let the boys use their imagination. They can splatter the paint on their canvases using paint brushes or their hands. They can also paint on the canvas and then splatter on top. The purpose of this activity is to encourage the boys to be creative.
- Candy Pass
As mentioned earlier, kids love games that include candy. One of the most popular games at Cub Scout Pack Meetings is Candy Pass. To play Candy Pass, all you will need is a bowl of candy, enough so that each person can have one piece of candy. Sit all the participants in a circle and hand out the candy randomly to each boy, but instruct them not to eat it yet. Once each boy has a piece of candy, tell them to pass the candy to their right every right they hear a keyword. The keyword should be a common word such as "the" or "and" or "a." Once they know the keyword, choose something to read to the group. The reading material might be a popular book or a chapter from your Cub Scout manual. As you are reading, the boys will be listening closely to hear the keyword so they can pass the candy around the circle.
- Bean Catapult
Bean Catapult is a simple game that requires a small amount of preparation. To play, you will need to create the catapult itself. This activity can be included as part of the Cub Scout meeting or done outside of the meeting. To create the catapult, you will only need two large popsicle sticks and eight small popsicle sticks for each boy. First, cut a small grove at one end of both large popsicle sticks in the same place. Then, tie together the eight small popsicle sticks in one large bundle, one on top of the other. Take one of the larger popsicle sticks and place it in between the second to last of the smaller popsicle sticks. Some of the younger boys may need help separating the sticks since the bundle should be tight. Slide the bundle to the opposite side of the grove in the large popsicle stick. Then, place the second stick on top and tie the two large popsicle sticks together at the groove using a rubber band (wrapping it three times if the rubber bands are smaller). Once the two sticks are tied together, slide the bundle between them. This should create tension between the two sticks. If you apply pressure to the other end and let go, the stick should snap upward, creating a catapult. For more instructions on how to create a catapult using popsicle sticks, watch this YouTube video.
The boys can put beans on the catapults and have competitions on how far they can launch the beans. You can also glue a bottle cap to the top of the catapult to create a basket for launching items.
- Painting Rocks
You can never go wrong during a Cub Scout Meeting by bringing an art activity. Young boys have vivid and fun imaginations. If you can capture their imaginations in a wholesome way, it can help the boys mold their imaginations for better purposes as they grow up and enter Boy Scouts. One fun way to help the boys embrace their imaginations is by painting pet rocks. A pet rock is just a rock that the boys can paint anything they want on. Some might choose to paint a frog, a dinosaur, or a rainbow. Simply bring a bucket of smooth rocks and some paint. Then let the boys choose their rocks and encourage them to paint as many rocks as they want.
- Target Bounce
Target bounce is a simple, easy game that boys of all ages can enjoy. It mimics the games that you will find at the fair, which encourages the boys to try playing the game. All you need is an empty egg carton, some markets, and a handful of ping pong balls to create the game. Using a red, green, and blue marker to color is some of the egg carton spaces. Then, decide that the red spaces are one point, blue spaces are two points, and green spaces are three points. To play, simply line up the boys and have them throw a ping pong ball into the egg carton. Keep track of the points and give the winners prizes based on how many points they are able to get. Make sure that everyone who plays wins a prize!
Who doesn't like to tie-dye? Tie-dying shirts is a fun way to encourage all of the boys in the pack to participate in an activity. For this activity, tell each boy to bring a white shirt (or you can buy a bulk pack of white shirts for the scouts from your local store). You will also need a tie-dye pack and some rubber bands. Gather the boys together and show them the different patterns they can do with the tie-dye shirts, and show an example of creating one. After the tutorial, help those who need help creating the shirts and let them have fun making their own shirts.
Games for During the Pack Meeting
During the pack meetings, games and activities should be focused on showcasing a merit badge, highlighting a shared adventure, or mixing the older scouts with the younger scouts. Here are ten games and activities that can be focused on a particular merit badge or theme.
- Themed Skits
Boy Scout and Cub Scout skits are entertaining for the boys and for the leaders. The boys can plan and create something funny, meaningful, or creative that will make others laugh and smile. To make your pack meeting more entertaining, have the boys create skits an hour in advance and then hand over some time to each group and let them act out the skits. If your pack meeting has a theme, center the skits around the theme and encourage the boys to be as creative as they need to be. It would also be helpful to have props available for the groups to make the skits.
- Holiday Crafts
Holiday crafts are always fun. If you're holding a pack meeting near a holiday, plan a few fun and easy crafts that all of the boys can participate in. These crafts can also be centered around a monthly theme. A few examples of themed crafts include:
- Pumpkin Carving. Have each boy bring a small pumpkin to the meeting and carve pumpkins before and after the main meeting.
- Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. Near the end of the year, plan to have a fun gingerbread decorating contest where the different gingerbread houses win prizes (making sure that every house wins a prize).
- Thank-You Cards. Give every boy a card and instruct them to write a thank you card to their parents around Mother's Day or Father's Day.
- Easter Egg Hunt. Around Easter time, plan a fun Easter egg hunt for the boys and let them keep all the eggs they find. Make sure that the eggs are plastic, so you don't end up with rotting eggs in the building.
- Birthday Show and Tell. As part of the pack meeting plan, consider inviting some Cub Scouts to bring a Show and Tell item from their home. The item should be something that the scout loves and feels passionate about. This should happen before the ceremony and could be a way to highlight the scouts that have had birthdays between this cub scout program and the previous.
There are many holiday crafts for Cub Scouts that the adult leaders can introduce during or after the advancement ceremony. These crafts will help the Cub Scouts enjoy themselves before, during, and after the flag ceremony.
- Count the Candy
Count the Kernels is an easy game that is set up before the ceremony. To set up this game, simply count a large number of popcorn kernels, pieces of candy, or marbles and fill the jar with the pre-counted item. Set the jar out in front of the audience and tell the cubs to guess how many kernels are in the jar. The cub who guesses closest to the number wins the jar of candy. This game keeps the cubs vigilant as they wait to hear who won the jar.
- No-Hands Face Painting
Having a no-hands face painting activity will get the parents, den leader, and other leaders involved in the game. For this activity, you will need one adult for every two boys. The boys will tape a paintbrush to his foot, and the adult will sit patiently in a chair while he or she instructs the scout what he or she wants to have painted. The Boy Scout will then do his best to paint with the paintbrush between his toes. This activity is hilarious and will have the entire room brought to tears of laughter. Of course, make sure that the scouts clean and wash their feet before getting the feet close to the leaders' faces.
- Cake Decorating Contest
A fun activity for the ceremony is a cake decorating contest. This contest is a way to celebrate the Cub Scout rank advancement. After the achievements have been awarded to the Cub Scouts, announce the cake decorating contest. The contest combines the desert with a fun activity that will engage the boys in a fun activity. The cakes should also correspond with a monthly theme. For example, the boys could decorate the cakes based on the merit badges awarded that night. Each group of boys will get their own cake with a variety of colored frosting pipes. After twenty minutes, the cakes are judged. Make sure to give each group of boys a prize and then cut into the cakes afterward.
- Ice Cream Creation
Another easy way to combine an activity with a desert is to make ice cream. Making ice cream in plastic bags has long been a favorite activity for Cub Scouts. To make ice cream in a plastic bag, you will need a large gallon bag and a smaller sandwich bag for each person making the ice cream. In addition, you will also need one cup of half-and-half, two tablespoons of sugar, one-half teaspoon of vanilla, three cups of ice, and one-third cup of kosher salt, and any toppings that you might want to include in the ice cream such as crushed Oreos, chocolate chips, fruits, or sprinkles. To make the ice cream, combine the half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla in the smaller bag and press out all of the air. Seal the bag tightly. In the large bag, put the ice and salt. Then, put the small bag inside of the larger bag, seal, and shake them together for ten minutes (or until the inner bag looks like ice cream). Once it resembles ice cream, take it out of the bag and add the toppings.
This recipe creates a serving of ice cream, so you will need these ingredients for each person making the ice cream. This activity is fun for the boys because they know they're making their own sweet treats.
- Make Snowmen
Depending on where you live and on the climate, this activity might not be possible. However, making snowmen is the perfect way to end the night if you live in a cold climate. Cub Scouts love to build and create. Building a snowman is an easy way to entertain the younger boys while also encouraging them to be outside and have fun. Additionally, little instruction is needed other than to tell the boys to build a snowman; most boys will figure out how on their own. Even if no instruction is needed, always have adult supervision through the assistant den leader or other adult volunteers.
- Make Slime
Millions of kids across the nation are obsessed with slime. Slime is a putty-like creation that is fun to play with as it molds to the shape of your hands. Kids love to stretch it and create tiny designs in the slime. One of the most exciting parts of slime is creating it. During your Cub Scout meeting, you can make slime to keep the boys engaged. To make slime, you will only need a few ingredients. You can find the exact recipe for making slime here. Slime is fun for all people making it. The boys can also customize the slime by adding colors, glitter, or small items into the slime.
- Puppet Show
A fun way to start your Cub Scout pack meeting is by starting with a puppet show. There are a few ways you can do the puppet show. You can either plan the puppet show with the adult leaders and a Cubmaster or invite a group of boys to plan the puppet show. The puppet show is like a small skit, but with easily customizable characters. The puppet show creators can create their characters using paper bag puppets or socks. No matter what the puppet show is about, it's likely to get the crowd laughing.
- Nebula in a Bottle
The tenth fun activity you can do with the Cub Scouts is to create a Nebula in a Bottle. A Nebula in a Bottle is a fairly easy thing to make and is the perfect activity to pair with a stargazing or space theme. To create the Nebula in a Bottle, you will need an empty Voss water bottle, cotton balls, acrylic paint, fine glitter, and water. Although you can choose any colors, the best colors for this are purple, teal, and silver to give it a "Nebula" look. Start by putting a small amount of acrylic paint in the bottom of the bottle. Fill it with water to fill up a fourth of the bottle. Then use a pencil to push bottom balls in the acrylic water until the color is entirely soaked into a handful of cotton balls. Then add another layer using your next acrylic color. Repeat this will all of the colors until the bottle is full. This product will be a swirling space effect like colored clouds in the bottle. Remind the kids that the bottle isn't supposed to be shaken, or else the colors will blend together into a muddy combination of colors.
Games for Exercise After the Pack Meeting
Pack meetings are important to recognize the boys' achievements and encourage them to continue working hard in their Cub Scout, or Boy Scout, experience. However, after the meeting, the boys are likely to be anxious and ready to run and have fun. Here is a list of ten things that will encourage the boys to get out their energy while learning valuable skills:
After a good meeting, it's fun to have a game or two that will let the boys get their energy out. One of the best games for young boys (or people of any age and gender) to have fun and exercise is by playing nine-square. Nine-square is a game played on a court that has nine squares suspended above the ground. Each person playing stands below one of the squares. The middle square of the three-by-three grid is the King square. When a person either hits the ball out of the square or the ball hits the ground inside a person's square, that person is out, and all the people below the person will move up while that person will move to the last square. The game is similar to four-square but has a twist that ensures that all players stay on their toes, literally. Because the court is above their heads, it makes the players think more about their actions and encourages more jumping, increasing the physical exercise for avid players. It's the perfect game for Cub Scouts because the Scouts are challenged with a new, yet familiar, game.
- Human Foosball
Another game that Cub Scouts will find fun and enjoyable is Human Foosball. Foosball is a common game that is often played in rec rooms or by sports fanatics. The small-scale game is simple. Each player has several lines of pieces that they can use to kick a small ball towards a goal line. Both players try to move the ball across the field using pieces that can only move side to side. Making this into a human-size game is fun and will help the Cub Scouts to learn to work together as a team. To set up the game, you will need to create the field. There are many ways to create a human foosball field, depending on how elaborate you want the playing field to be. The simplest way to play is to lay out masking tape in five or more lines. You will also need long, narrow pipes that will act as the binding line between the players on each separate line. You will need as many pipes as you have lines. Then, have the players line up on the masking tape, with three to four players on the pipe. When the game starts, the players cannot leave their line and must have both hands on the pipe.
Other variations have more setup, such as setting the poles on hay bales on the side. Speak with your other Cub Scout leaders to decide which type of setup would be the best for your specific group. Regardless of how you choose to set up your court, your Cub Scouts will have fun playing Human Foosball.
- Red Rover
The game Red Rover has been popular on school grounds for years. It's most popular among younger children, making it the perfect game for Cub Scouts. Red Rover can be played with any number of people and is best in large groups. To play Red Rover with your Cub Scout pack, separate the group into two teams. Both teams will line up and hold hands or link elbows. The starting line will chant, "Red Rover, Red Rover, let [name of a person on the other team] come over." The person called will leave their place in line and try to break through the other team's linked arms. If the person breaks through the arms, he or she brings back one of the players who broke the chain back to the running team. If the runner wasn't able to break the chain, the runner joins the team who called out his name. The game continues until all players stand on one side. Red Rover is a great game for Cub Scouts because it encourages them to exercise while still having fun.
- Balloon Tag
Balloon Tag is another fun game that encourages the Cub Scouts to run and exercise. To set up the game, prepare two to four balloons per person who will be participating in the game. Tie a balloon to each foot of each boy (two balloons to each foot if you're playing with fewer people). Then, instruct the boys that the last person with a balloon wins the game. Once the game starts, the boys will chase each other, trying to stomp on each other's balloons. This game is perfect for groups of all sizes because it encourages everyone to run and participate. The Cub Scouts leaders should also prepare a treat for after the game.
- Tiny Bow and Arrow
This activity includes both a craft and a game. For this activity, your Cub Scouts will be making a harmless tiny bow with tiny arrows. You will need craft sticks (one per bow), dental floss, cotton swabs, a crafting knife, scissors, and a cutting board to make the bow. Because you will be using a knife for this craft, make sure that there is enough supervision to keep all boys accountable. Take the crafting stick and cut two tiny notches on either side of the stick on both ends. The stick will need to soak in water for about an hour to make the wood flexible (this step can be done before handing the sticks out to the boys). Then, give each boy about 12 inches of dental floss. At one end, tie a slip knot and place the slip knot into the grooves on one side of the wet stick. Wrap the floss two or three more times around the notches until it feels secure and then tie a square knot. Slowly and gently bend the stick into a bow shape and then repeat the knots on the other side of the stick to create a tight bowstring with the floss.
Next, you will need about five cotton swabs per person. Cut off one side of the cotton swab so it only has the cotton on one end. Once the cotton swabs are cut, your arrows are finished! The boys can then take the cotton swabs and launch them using the bows. This creates a fun and harmless way for the boys to practice their target practice. Once the bows are finished, create a game by setting up a target. Cover the target with a sticky substance that the cotton swabs are likely to stick. You can also dip the tips of the cotton swabs in paint before launching them to leave a red mark on the paper target. Make sure to tell the boys not to shoot the cotton swabs at any of the other boys' faces.
For more detailed instructions on how to make these harmless bows and arrows, click here.
- Popcorn Foot Race
A popcorn race is a great way to mix the youth from different troops who attended the gathering activity. Teams participating in the popcorn foot race should be a combination of older scouts and younger scouts, proportioned evenly so that no team has an advantage over another team. A popcorn foot race is a fun game that encourages participation and teamwork. To create the game, use paper cups and poke a small hole in the cup's bottom using a pen. Then string a rubber band through a paper clip and put the paper clip inside the cup. This could make it so when the rubber band is pulled, the paper slip stays inside the cup. Each team (separate groups into groups of four or five) will need one cup per person and line up on one side of the field. On the other side, there will be a large bowl of popcorn. The players will run down to the popcorn with the cup on top of their shoe. They fill the cup with popcorn without using their hands and then run back to their team. Once back, they will attempt to empty the cup into their team's bowl without using their hands. Once the person has finished emptying the cup, the next person runs out. The team continues to rotate until the first team fills their bowl with popcorn.
This fun game is perfect for a den meeting or a pack meeting. It helps the boys to mingle and learn from one another. Rather than keeping one troop separate from another, it pulls the boys together and encourages them to learn from one another.
- Capture the Flag
A timeless game that is fun for all ages is Capture the Flag. Capture the Flag is an easy game to play with all of the scouts, as long as you make sure to split the scouts into two even groups. It's best to play Capture the Flag on grass or turf to make sure that no one gets hurt or injured if they fall while chasing each other across the playing field. The rules of Capture the Flag are fairly simple: don't get your flag stolen. To play, separate the boys into two even teams and tie a removable flag to each player's waist. At the far end of each field, there will be two important sections. One section will have the team's flag, and the other section will have the team's jail. If a player of the opposite team loses his flag, he must go to the jail box. If a player from his own team tags him while he is in jail, he is set free but must return to his side of the field before continuing the game. If a team grabs the other team's group flag, the team wins.
This game encourages a lot of exercise because everyone is running and trying to grab each other's flags. The game will need adult supervision to make sure that everyone is abiding by the rules.
- Nature Walk
After the pack meeting, your cub scouts can benefit from going on a nature walk. If the Denmaster chooses to take the scouts on a nature walk, make sure that you have the parent's permission and ensure that the parents are invited to join the scouts on the walk. Nature walks are great for scouts because it encourages the scouts to learn more about the local plants and wildlife. Scouts that frequently go on nature walks often know more about the surroundings and are more environmentally conscious as they grow up. Scout leaders might consider incorporating a merit badge class as part of the nature walk so that the scouts can earn another merit badge while learning about their local environment.
- Dance Party
Cub Scouts should also be encouraged to express themselves and have fun, all while learning good ways to keep their minds and bodies healthy. After a pack meeting, the cubs and leaders can celebrate by holding a Just Dance party. For this, one of the leaders will need to have the game and console as well as a way to project the game. Then, have a few volunteers to play while the other boys dance behind them. You can also hold other types of dance parties where games are incorporated into the dancing.
At the end of the day, boys will have fun as long as they play with their friends. It's important to expose the scouts to new experiences and new games that will help build skills and help them to improve their teamwork. Scout leaders can foster the right environment by simply making all of the activities available to the boys at the same time. Have Nine Square, Gaga Ball, the basketballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs out after the meeting and let the boys have fun playing games of their choice.